Bruno Fernandes had an eventful night at Old Trafford, as the Portuguese annoyed Liverpool with his antics all over the pitch.
The 27-year-old was handed the captain’s armband in absence of Harry Maguire, who was benched by Erik ten Hag in favour of Raphael Varane.
In the game that stole headlines for all the wrong reasons before it began, Fernandes led his team in a commendable fashion, and got under the visitor’s skin to ensure all three points for United.
Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford’s goals on either side of the half-time break afforded the hosts the luxury to sit deep and take their time, as Liverpool threw in the kitchen sink in search for a goal in the last 15 minutes of the game.
In the 81st minute, Jurgen Klopp’s attacking approach worked as Mo Salah found the net following United’s failure to deal with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner. The goal could’ve been avoided if United players were more attentive in their box after David de Gea’s initial save.
Nevertheless, Fernandes kept his cool, and tried to waste time by holding onto the ball for as long as possible. Despite being on a yellow card for his dive a few minutes ago, the United skipper did his best to keep the ball away from Salah in a hilarious manner.
Liverpool players as well as Klopp were fuming with Fernandes’ ball-hogging. The German showed his frustration on the touchline, and even had words with the Portugal international at full-time.
Thought Klopp and Fernandes were gonna kick off then
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) August 22, 2022
Klopp on Fernandes friction: "It was not animated, it was harmless."
Suggested Fernandes needs that conflict to play well. "Use me, no problem."#MUFC
— Laurie Whitwell (@lauriewhitwell) August 22, 2022
Ten Hag enjoyed United players’ work-ethic and commitment and made sure to praise Fernandes’ leadership in his post-match interview.
Apart from his not so pleasing-to-the-eyes antics, the United playmaker was also vital in dominating Liverpool’s midfield. He won most of his ground duels, and created two chances in his side’s vital 2-1 win at the Theatre of Dreams.